AmNews Staff Reports
The New School has launched the Digital Equity Laboratory, a project-based center that identifies and supports strategies to transform how technology is understood and used to drive racial, gender and economic equity and disrupt the use of technology to produce and reproduce inequity in our social, economic and civic life. It will focus on cross-sector strategies to expand broadband access to communities, particularly low-income communities of color, that have been systematically excluded, marginalized and targeted by many technology systems; ensure that smart-city innovations benefit those communities; and understand the equity implications of big data, algorithms and new edge technologies. The DEL will be housed at The New School’s Milano School.
“Technology is neutral, but people are not,” Maya Wiley, founder and co-director of the DEL, and Greta Byrum, co-director of the DEL, said in a statement. “With the fast pace of technological change to our job markets, how we communicate with one another and the data produced and collected about us, and how it is used, technology has great potential to drive social benefits democratically or deliver social, economic and civic devastation for some. We no longer have a digital divide. We have a technological chasm. The laboratory will provide a space for people of diverse disciplines to collaboratively develop approaches and strategies to protect democracy; increase the economic, social and civic health of our communities, particularly low-income communities of color; and support innovation that disrupts inequality, rather than reproducing it.”